Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 228

Picture Book: The Rainbow Fish

Author & Illustrator: Marcus Pfister

Translator: J. Alison James

Summary: The title character, with rainbow scales of blue, green, purple, and sparkling silver, is the most beautiful fish in the ocean . Other fish call him Rainbow Fish and want him to play, but he is too proud. When a small fish asks for one shiny scale. Rainbow Fish responds angrily and selfishly. The other fish hear of this rebuke so they begin turning away from Rainbow Fish when he swims near. Lonely and unable to show off to other fish, Rainbow Fish laments to Starfish who sends him to the Wise Octopus who advises him to give a scale to each of his friends. At first, he doesn’t think he can bear to give his scales away until the original small fish returns and asks again for one shiny scale. Rainbow Fish gives in. A good feeling comes upon Rainbow Fish as he sees the joy the gift has given the small fish. Other fish come and ask for a glittering scale. The more scales he gives away, the more delighted he becomes. When the fish around him each have a shimmer, Rainbow Fish feels more at home among the other fish so he joyfully joins their play.

Hanna’s Comments: My children loved this book when they were small. I still like it because it emphasizes sharing, an important issue for children, and it criticizes pride in appearance. Too often children are encouraged to show off their new clothes, shoes, or hairstyles. Our Holy Scriptures and our culture clash when it comes to the concepts of “pride” and “humility.” For this reason our communities of faith have a tendency to avoid these issues. Also, these two issues are confusing. When does confidence become pride? Does humility mean being passive? Children learn these kinds of orientations early and struggle with them throughout their adult years if there is not a balance between pride and humility. Therefore, consider exploring the topics of pride and humility tenderly and honestly in your faith family.

Publisher & Date of Publication: North-South Books, 1992

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 3 and up, Pre and up

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? Yes

Formats other than Book: DVD

PBT Category: Pre 2K

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: beauty, belonging, call/calling/vocation, choices/decisions, clothes/shoes, equality/inequality, exclusion/inclusion, exile/separation/walls, fish/fishing, generosity/giving/offering/stewardship, gifts/talents, God’s will, greed/selfishness, joy, jubilee, loneliness, mentors/teachers, mission, mistakes, neighbors, neighborhood, pleasing God/the Shema, possessions, poverty, power, pride, rainbows, self-reflection, renewal/restoration, response to God, righteousness, sacrifice, satisfaction, sharing, transformation, treasure, wisdom

Scripture Connections: When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2); Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips. (Proverbs 27:2); God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6)

Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a group of children when talking about the importance of sharing or the difficult balance of pride and humility called for in our Holy Scriptures.

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